i miss.

As a follow up to my I love post, I thought an I miss post would be appropriate.

I miss being able to jump in the car and be at the ocean in ten minutes.  I miss being able to drive down Ocean Ave. with the windows rolled down, smelling the misty saltiness even during winter.

I miss our beautiful house with all it’s crisp white painted walls.  I miss the amazing hard wood floors that hid so much yet looked so good.  I miss the playroom and all the natural light.

I miss my friends, my family, my people.

I miss delicious food…so many good restaurants to choose from.

I miss walks on the boardwalk, staring at the ocean…chatting with friends or my family.

I miss Anthropologie.  I miss that store so much that I actually bought the Volcano candle that they burn 24/7 there…even though I swore I’d never buy it because I didn’t want my house to smell like that store.  But now, I just miss that place too much.  Ha. It’s one of the few stores I truly enjoy meandering through more than I relish scrolling through their online options.

I miss our fireplace and the crackling sounds…sitting in the dark by the firelight.

I miss packing the kiddos up, grabbing a coffee and heading to the shore- staying for hours on end…playing in the sand and water.

I miss my kids having their own bedrooms.  And I miss our basement.

I miss being able to end blogs with meaningful conclusions.

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i love.

I love the weather in Redding right now.  I’m writing this so that in July I’ll come back and read truth…even though I’ll be seeing scorched earth and never leaving my air conditioned home.  It’s good to recognize the good around us.

I love Thursday nights.  My lovely husband graciously takes the boys to school on Friday mornings, which means Maya and I get to sleep in.  I rarely plan anything on Fridays because I love the feeling of waking up to no plans- a rarity these days.  But Thursday evenings are euphoric because I know that when my head hits the pillow, I won’t be waking up to an alarm.

I love basketball.  This winter, we enrolled both of the boys in a basketball program and while they both enjoyed the season, Regan brought home the obsession.  I’m so glad.  Basketball was my favorite thing to play growing up and for as long as I’ve thought about having kids, I’ve wanted them to play my favorite sport.  Obviously it’s not something that can be forced, so when I hear the dribble of that ball outside it just makes me smile so wide.  Bart even bought and assembled a huge basketball hoop- on the gravel “RV parking” space beside our house and we dribble down the sidewalk and shoot…always hoping the ball won’t hop the fence.

I love pineapple.  Did you know that if you turn an almost ripe pineapple upside down for a day, it will evenly distribute the sweetness when it’s cut up? Also strawberry season is almost upon Redding…and we have the best berries here, on roadside stands.

I love the ocean.  I don’t think I could ever make a love list without including my favorite place.  A few weeks ago we traveled to the coast of California.  The smell alone was intoxicating, but staring at the waves just mesmerized me.  My children jumped right back into the beach life, as though we never left.  Even though each ocean view is different, no matter where I am, it captivates my heart.

I love birkenstocks.  I own three pairs, technically four, thought I don’t wear one of the pairs because they are too big for me…so I don’t count them.  Not sure why I’m still holding on to them.  But anyway, every spring I look at Birks and find myself longing for another pair.  I don’t need anymore right now.  No. more.

I love hydrangeas.  Little did I know, it’s hard to get good hydrangeas here in CA.  I rarely see the big beautiful bunches that used to be a fixture in Jersey grocery stores.  Last week I spied some in a new shipment the florist was unpacking and begged to buy them…lilies were stuck in each bunch- so weird and gross.  Not sure what I have against lilies but they are not my favorite.  One of the best things about hydrangeas is that they last forever after being cut.  As long as they have fresh water, they are happy.

I love tragic-drop off- blog endings like this.

fill your own eggs.

I made my kids fill their own eggs for an Easter egg hunt this year.  A fleeting thought passed through my mind that delegating this task might not be kosher, but I knew they’d love it and I didn’t want to do it so…  I mentioned it twice to friends and they both were shocked that my kids filled eggs for their own party.  Ha.  Then I told someone my kids don’t have Easter baskets and again…the same shocked look.  Oops.

So this morning, while I sat staring into my coffee I reminisced about Easter’s past, perhaps trying to capture why our rituals don’t match anyone else’s on this beloved holiday.  I grew up with a Resurrection Hunt that I loved- always ending in the dryer..the empty tomb.  We had Easter baskets and Easter dresses and it was wonderful.

Then I grew up and started my own family, and I can recall the first Easter I filled a cute beach bucket, even though we lived in the middle of the country- Kansas City was as far away from the ocean as you can get.  Then Regan came along shortly after, and I can’t remember if I scrapped the basket idea until they were old enough to appreciate it.  I also have this weird thing where I didn’t want to buy matching baskets until all we had all our kids; I’ve struggled with this same problem surrounding Christmas stockings (they have cheap ones for now, don’t worry- but I long for beautiful monogrammed ones that coordinate.  I’m weird yes.)

Anyway, we moved to New Jersey when the boys were toddlers and joined their Aunt Michelle’s famous giant egg hunt for the next 4 years.  She always offered Easter baskets to collect at the hunt and while I usually gave the kiddos a little Easter present, mostly I just focused on the outfits.  Then last year we found ourselves on the west coast and ventured up to my childhood home, where my dad put on the first Resurrection hunt since the ’90s.  It was epic…way more treats than I remember getting though- grandkids *insert loving eyeroll*.

Now here we are, Easter 2018.  The outfits are ready- for the first time, not pastel-y in any way- but so cute.  My kids are also getting spoiled with Easter presents- I actually scrounged some old basket-like containers from the garage to put them in.  Regan is getting a mint green Ukele. (I’m most excited about that, can you tell?)  I could care less about an egg hunt, but our friends who we are celebrating with asked if we could do one, and I happily obliged.  Until I realized that would mean I’d have to purchase and fill eggs- which seemed more like a chore than an exciting holiday ritual.  Thus leading to my kids filling their own eggs- which they excitedly LOVED doing by the way.

All that to say, I think the only ritual that stands the test of time in our family so far is CELEBRATING the beauty of Jesus’s death and resurrection.  That’s the best one anyway.  Happy Easter!

 

Adoption and Money:

***This is actually a post I wrote years ago but never posted.  Since joining a new church I’ve met lots of curious people who have asked about our adoptions (which I love, ask away!), I have noticed an overwhelming amount of conversations that end with: but it’s so expensive.  If there’s time, I always love sharing how God provided miraculously for each of our kiddos (none through a ten year savings plan by the way)…but if time is limited, I usually state the obvious- God LOVES adoption, because He LOVES kids and families and HE has lots of money.  Ha!  So…below is a short summary on this topic.  ***

 

Why should I pay for your kid?

One of the biggest hurdles we had to conquer with our adoption is the money aspect.  When we moved to IHOP, we were inundated with adoption news and statistics and most importantly- God’s heart for the orphans.  But one big thing that I hadn’t seen much of previously, was fundraising for adoption.

Just so we’re clear, we hate asking for money…but from the very beginning of our adoption journey, we knew we needed to give people a chance to sow into this incredible plan of God’s.  And by “this incredible plan” I mean, adoption- in general.  We weren’t just “growing our family”; we were intentionally answering a prayer to end abortion and adopt a child.  And the more we listened to people’s adoption stories, the more we were convinced that asking people to partner with us was the right decision.  You see, not everyone is called to adopt- but I believe we are all called to “take care of the widows and orphans” (James 1:27) and that can be done in so many different ways…just one of which is giving a few bucks to someone who is going to adopt.

We raised funds by good old fashioned letters…and even though we did offend a few hearts, it was worth it.  God wanted this plan to happen and He sent us thousands of dollars in a very short span of time.  Josiah’s adoption was fully covered by the time we arrived in Florida to pick him up- Praise the Lord!

Recently I read a blog post of a stranger, who lives here in KC and is in the process of adopting…she explains this whole idea so well, I asked her if I could guest post her on my blog and thankfully, she agreed! (if you want to read more of her blog click here)

“Maybe you’re asking yourself, “What the heck, self? Why should I pay for somebody else’s kid? Nobody paid for my kid.” or some such. Let me try to help out.

One of the key elements you have to understand about adoption is the kid is already here. We are talking about a person, in utero or out of it, that has already joined our world and will live here, one way or another. Adoption is one way to provide that child a healthy, stable family.

Because it is so expensive, and because it is a mercy ministry, and because it is time sensitive, fundraising is extremely common, in churched and unchurched circles, among all income levels. Go take a spin around the web; it’s easy to find.

Fundraisers, and adoption, are about the child. It’s time sensitive, because by the time you are in the process, a baby is already on its way, or a child is already being passed through the system. Taking a 10 year break to save $30,000 extra is not really practical when it comes to adoption, it has to be done quickly.

Adoption is a ministry. It is a way that people add to their families, too, and that’s great, but ultimately it is an attempt to give a child a better life. That cause should move your heart. It moves the heart of God.

So, if you know of someone who is in the process of adopting, and you want to join with them and God in protecting the fatherless, then you have been given an opportunity, a door. That’s what it is. It’s a chance to be part of something bigger than yourself. Take it or leave it.”

 

 

full of words

I know I’ve been pretty quiet here in this little space, but it hasn’t been for lack of content.  At first I think I would tend to blame the lack of posting on all the good things that are going on in my life right now, specifically going to school- since that’s the added blessing in this season.  However, I’m realizing that we make time for what we care about, and therefore, I want to say…I care about this space.  I want to write.  I want to write more often and better.  I believe there are so many pages of words waiting to be typed here.  While I’m not sure whether I will ramp up my posts starting today or in eight weeks when my first year is over, I do know I’m excited!

As of now, I’m applying to attend Bethel’s BSSM 2nd year program, which starts in the fall.  I keep finding myself saying, it’s either school or adopt another baby…and while I would be so happy with either, I’m leaning towards school for this next year.  This has been SUCH a unique and foundational experience for me, I don’t feel ready for it to end yet.  I’ve learned more about who I am and who God is in the last 6 months than I ever imagined.  So much of the journey has been uncovering what I thought I knew but didn’t fully believe.  It’s been refreshing and invigorating.  I cannot wait to share with you guys.

He is faithful.

the air i breathe

I’ve been a bit stuck in life lately.  Sickness hit our home like a tornado and I’m still staring at the disarray, though the crazed awfulness has passed.  What’s odder still is that for the past seven years, when sickness has fallen on me- there’s no real consequence other than suffering through it.  Dealing with sickness as a mom is a bit like no one caring that you’re sick because your job just continues.  But now, as a student, I’m actually missing something.  This experience has forced me to prioritize what is important and restoring health to my body has to be at the top.  Here I sit, two weeks late, still not completely healthy.  I still cannot take a full deep breath, I am still coughing my brains out, and I am still exhausted and depleted.

But what affected me the most in the last few weeks, was when I lost the ability to fully breath.  I’ve never had any issues with asthma or anything related, so when, after a full week of the flu, I started having trouble breathing- it was rough.  I couldn’t lay down or even lean back without panicking because air seemed so distant.  I had to sleep on the couch sitting up, but the first night the thought that if I stopped breathing, no one would know, passed through my mind.

I have never been more thankful for breath than today.  As painful as it is sometimes, I’m so grateful that sometimes we experience a momentary loss that propels us into the importance of the simple that we take for granted.  I don’t think I’ve ever really contemplated breathing as much as I have in the last week.  I’m so glad God created us to not have to consciously think about breathing.  What a gift.

Perhaps the lack of oxygen to my brain is what propelled me to write this random post.

Ha!

rainbow pom-poms and painted unicorns

Welcome to my stream of consciousness, the first of 2018.

It’s 8pm and the UPS driver just delivered a present I bought myself…a garland (if you will) of rainbow colored poms, made of yarn.  God has been speaking a lot to me with rainbows in the last few months and apparently, my whole life- so I thought it would be fun to hang a reminder in my bedroom.  I had no idea these poms were giant so when I opened them I just started to giggle and couldn’t stop.  It’s as though God was literally trying to make me laugh.  Gosh.  So good.  I hung them and can’t wait to hear what my husband has to say about them- ha!  But for me, every single time I see the rainbow colors in my room, I’ll be reminded of how much God has always watched out for me, always cared about me, always been there.

Christmas was good…even in our tiny house.  It was cozy and delicious.  Thankful to have family here to celebrate with us and thankful for this extra week off too.  Though, technically my school started, so I am going tomorrow…easing myself back in.

My dear friend Megs sent me a quote earlier today and I can’t get it out of my mind.  “Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly.  It’s your masterpiece after all.”  So good.  Often I find myself deleting apps or throwing something away in my house, changing a decoration or an entire belief and I don’t even stop to waver.  Editing my life is so necessary, so healthy, so helpful.  This ties into my 2018 theme (I’ve decided the word goal doesn’t really fit anymore…after the smashing success of last year’s Just Say Yes theme, I’m rolling with it).  He makes all things new.  I’m excited and anxious to see where this year leads me, and I am on the edge of my seat.

For Christmas my parents bought me a mini projector– that I asked for- because I thought it would be fun to create with.  Over the weekend I finally decorated my daughter’s room a little bit.  She’s been in the stage of “destruction” for quite some time, so I didn’t realize she was capable of handling wall decor in her room…but low and behold, she’s growing up.  Today I kept wanting to jump in the car and stroll down the aisles of Hobby Lobby to look for a horse/unicorn/zebra canvas to complete her little makeover.  But then, I remembered my new tool…and literally traced and painted a unicorn in 15 minutes for her wall.  This thing is bomb.

We took all the Christmas lights out of our house last week, but last night we put some back up.  The house just seemed too dark, and sad, and non-twinkly.  It’s so much better now.

I finally read a book that wasn’t for school.  My mom brought me a stack of the best…so here’s the first one I’ll recommend- And Then You Loved Me by Inglath Cooper.  Also, Bart and I saw Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and shockingly, I loved it!  It was hilarious.  Go see it.

Ok.  My husband keeps giggling from the other room while watching Ellen’s new Game show so I gotta go investigate.  Over and out.